tirupati l friday l july 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Muted, subdued Tokyo 2020 Games opens today The Opening Ceremony will be held without spectators amid Covid concerns on Friday Only 26 Indians to march More Covid cases & off field drama In what is likely to be a running theme, two more athletes at the Village tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. Besides, 12 other Games-related personal were found infected. Meanwhile, Opening Ceremony director, Kentaro Kobayashi, was fired after footage emerged of him making Holocaust-related jokes in a 90s TV skit In a departure from the past, there will only be 26 during the march past. This is to avoid exposure to Covid-19. Two flag bearers will be men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh and 2012 Olympic medallist MC Mary Kom the gala today 4.30pm: Opening Ceremony india in Archery 5.30am onwards: Women’s individual ranking round 9.30am: Men’s individual ranking CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Big drama in RS. Ex-CBI boss spied upon? Numbers of Alok Verma, Asthana on the database; French President Macron weighs options, reworks security protocols E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Pegasus snoopgate continued to roil governments globally on Thursday, with French President Emmanuel Macron holding an emergency cybersecurity meeting to weigh action and rework security protocols after it emerged that his phone numbers figured among those that were potentially hacked. In Mexico, reports said previous administrations from 2012 to 2018 had spent about $300 BSY drops big hint with end of 2-yr tenure A s h w i n i M S r i pa d @ Bengaluru Amid heavy speculation over his exit after completing two years in office, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said that so far, he has not received any message from the party high command. “I will be completing two years in office on July 26. The party high command will send a message this weekend and I will abide by their direction,” he said, breaking his silence on the leadership issue. Yediyurappa also said he had decided to resign two months ago itself to make way for others. Last month, he had stated he will quit the day the high command asks him to do so. After his recent visit to the national capital, political circles have been abuzz with speculation over his imminent exit and the names of many BJP leaders are doing the rounds as his successor. As several seers from the Lingayat and other communities continue to extend their support to the Lingayat strongman and warn the BJP central leadership against dislodging him, the 78-yearold CM said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda had a ‘special concern’ for him and allowed him to work as CM even after 75 years of age and had also appreciated his work. Jab-o-meter Take your shot July 21 20,83,892 doses July 22 48,86,103 doses Total doses: 42,28,26,035 NATIONWIDE july 21 july 22 Fresh cases 42,015 41,383 Recoveries Deaths 36,977 38,652 3,998 507 statewide july 21 july 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Samples tested 2,527 2,412 19 86,280 1,843 2,199 12 70,727 Inter second year results today Education Minister A Suresh will announce the Intermediate second year exam results on Friday. Following cancellation of exams, a panel was set up to formulate modalities for declaration of results | P3 million to purchase the spyware from the NSO Group, an Israeli firm. Back home, attempts by the Modi government to shake off charges of using the spyware became that much more difficult, with revelations that former CBI chief Alok Ver ma’s phone numbers were added to the list the day he was chucked out of the hot seat in 2018. Interestingly mobile num, bers of his adversary Rakesh Asthana were added to the list an hour before Verma’s. Meanwhile, Parliament continued to be in turmoil as both Houses witnessed sloganeering and disruptions. The Rajya Sabha witnessed high drama as Trinamool member Shantanu Sen snatched a copy of a statement on the spyware from Electronics and Information Technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, tore it up and flung it towards the Chair. Other Trinamool members did likewise and the House was adjourned for the day. Shortly thereafter, minister Hardeep Puri and Sen exchanged sharp words, forcing Marshals to intervene. Sen later said Puri verbally abused and was on the verge of assault before he was rescued. The Centre is learnt to be planning a privilege motion against Sen. The Opposition wants a discussion on Pegasus with Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Home minister Amit Shah speaking on the matter. Stand by it, says Amnesty With the BJP trying to demolish the snoopgate list claiming it was fake, Amnesty International defended its findings. “Amnesty categorically stands by the findings of the Pegasus Project, and that the data is irrefutably linked to potential targets of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware,” it said in a statement Bid to distract attention Rumours pushed on social media are intended to distract from the widespread unlawful targeting of journalists, activists and others, it added Tax raid on media group AP-TS water row will end soon: Shekhawat draws coercion charges E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Bhopal/Lucknow TAX sleuths knocked on the doors of Bhopal-headquartered Dainik Bhaskar group and Uttar Pradesh-based Bharat Samachar in the wee hours on Thursday, raiding their premises across various states for alleged tax evasion. Multiple teams of the I-T department from Delhi and Mumbai conducted the searches under Section 132 of the Income Tax Act at business premises owned by the two media groups in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and UP, following specific inputs about tax evasion by these firms. The Bhaskar group, which runs around 65 daily newspaper editions in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarathi, had run a series of stories on the alleged coverup of casualties in MP Gujarat , and UP as well as the vaccine wastage in Rajasthan. After the authorities denied reports of mass graves on the banks of Ganga, it sent an army of reporters to document the same. The raids drew sharp criticism from Opposition leaders as both the media groups had done numerous stories and programmes highlighting the failure of authorities in managing the pandemic. “The attack on journalists and media houses is yet another BRUTAL attempt to stifle democracy tweeted West Ben,” gal CM Mamata Banerjee. “Their message is clear that whoever will speak against the BJP government... will not be spared,” said Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal, adding that the searches are an “attempt to scare the media”. However, government sources said the group evaded huge amounts of tax by claiming bogus expenses and purchases using shell entities. ‘Retaliation’ The Bhaskar group claimed the raids were a retaliation to their stories exposing the mishandling of Covid-19 by the Centre and various state governments Employees stopped The group said journalists at Indore and Bhopal offices were not allowed to work for one hour and their phones were seized. They were let go only around 1.00 pm, the group said Even as the Telangana government has been continuing power generation using Krishna water disregarding the KRMB’s direction, Union Jal Shakti Minister GS Shekhawat has emphatically clarified that power generation is only incidental to irrigation and drinking water needs. Since the Centre has recently empowered the KRMB and the GRMB by notifying their jurisdictions, he expressed confidence that tensions between the two States would certainly ease in the time to come. YSRC Kadapa MP YS Avinash Reddy raised the issue of indiscriminate drawl of water by Telangana for power generation from Srisailam dam during the Question Hour in Lok Sabha on Thursday . The MP told the House that the interests of drought-hit Rayalaseema, Prakasam and Nellore districts were being harmed due to Telangana’s actions. Responding to this, Shekhawat said, “I fully agree with the issue raised about the problems of Rayalaseema farmers. In the ninth meeting of KRMB, it was decided that power generation is incidental to irrigation and drinking water needs. The AP Chief Minister requested the Centre to prevail upon Telangana to stop at once the drawl of water solely for power generation. AP has also written to the KRMB. Following this, we have written to TSGENCO requesting it to stop further release of water from Srisailam dam, Left Power House. Subsequently, the KRMB again has requested Telangana Irrigation Special Chief Secretary to take immediate action to stop further release of water from Srisailam Left Power House.” P5
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